Monday, June 22, 2009


My brothers and I grew up raising tropical fish. Actually, they did, I watched and over fed them till I got old enough to get my own tanks.

We kept all sorts of fish, but mostly fish known as African Cichlids, found in the rift lakes of Africa.

These fish are very colorful and hearty, but they do take some time to get acclimated to a new tank. They are very territorial and can be sensitive to the water chemistry. You can't simply dump them into the tank and hope it works out. Before adding a new fish, you should actually re-arrange the entire tank and do a partial water change before intorducing the new fish. This way the environment is new for everyone and the new fish has a chance to establish itself.

This process doesn't happen with people. When we move we're dumped into a new environment we have to figure out the culture and assimilate, to a certain degree. We have to get acclimated to the culture.

Fish disease and death is caused more by stress than anything else. What affect do you think stress has on humans? Something I think we completely underestimate and probably over medicate (I completely support medical intervention when appropriate, and at the same time I think we should be working towards alternatives such as reshaping our thinking as Paul encourages us in Romans).

Stress is an indicator that things are either not normal or different. Stress itself is not bad and can actually motivate us to greater levels of functioning. Too much stress can debilitate us and even cause death.

As I experience my families transition to a new town, each of us are experiencing stress in different ways. Each of us are getting acclimated at different rates. The key that I have found in being OK with the stress is to name it and recognize it, not deny it. In naming it I have found that it looses its power and allows me the grace to be OK with it.

Paul says if you're stressed, pray about it, and God will give you peace, not as the world gives, but only as God gives. I would encourage you memorize Philippians 4:4-7.

Our approach to stress and anxiety can be a witness to God's power in our life.

May the Lord grant us peace, and use our lives to bring hope and encouragement to all those who know us.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for another dose of encouragement. It's a very appropriate word for us.

Stace said...

SO TRUE! Love the analogy!